Friday, January 23, 2015

Whom He Wanted

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Minute Meditations

Sanctifying Grace Minute Meditations

The more I am filled with grace, the more merit my prayers, virtuous actions, and sufferings will have when I offer them to God. The more grace I am infused with, the higher the wattage on the lamp of my soul. This is because grace is what makes us more like God, more united to Him.
— from Answers

St. Marianne Cope

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Though leprosy scared off most people in 19th-century Hawaii, that disease sparked great generosity in the woman who came to be known as Mother Marianne of Molokai. Her courage helped tremendously to improve the lives of its victims in Hawaii, a territory annexed to the United States during her lifetime (1898).

Mother Marianne's generosity and courage were celebrated at her May 14, 2005, beatification in Rome. She was a woman who spoke "the language of truth and love" to the world, said Cardinal José Saraiva Martins, prefect of the Congregation for Saints' Causes. Cardinal Martins, who presided at the beatification Mass in St. Peter's Basilica, called her life "a wonderful work of divine grace." Speaking of her special love for persons suffering from leprosy, he said, "She saw in them the suffering face of Jesus. Like the Good Samaritan, she became their mother."

On January 23, 1838, a daughter was born to Peter and Barbara Cope of Hessen-Darmstadt, Germany. The girl was named after her mother. Two years later the Cope family emigrated to the United States and settled in Utica, New York. Young Barbara worked in a factory until August 1862, when she went to the Sisters of the Third Order of Saint Francis in Syracuse, New York. After profession in November of the next year, she began teaching at Assumption parish school.

Marianne held the post of superior in several places and was twice the novice mistress of her congregation. A natural leader, three different times she was superior of St. Joseph's Hospital in Syracuse, where she learned much that would be useful during her years in Hawaii.

Elected provincial in 1877, Mother Marianne was unanimously re-elected in 1881. Two years later the Hawaiian government was searching for someone to run the Kakaako Receiving Station for people suspected of having leprosy. More than 50 religious communities in the United States and Canada were asked. When the request was put to the Syracuse sisters, 35 of them volunteered immediately. On October 22, 1883, Mother Marianne and six other sisters left for Hawaii where they took charge of the Kakaako Receiving Station outside Honolulu; on the island of Maui they also opened a hospital and a school for girls.

In 1888, Mother Marianne and two sisters went to Molokai to open a home for "unprotected women and girls" there. The Hawaiian government was quite hesitant to send women for this difficult assignment; they need not have worried about Mother Marianne! On Molokai she took charge of the home that St. Damien de Veuster [May 10, d. 1889] had established for men and boys. Mother Marianne changed life on Molokai by introducing cleanliness, pride and fun to the colony. Bright scarves and pretty dresses for the women were part of her approach.

Awarded the Royal Order of Kapiolani by the Hawaiian government and celebrated in a poem by Robert Louis Stevenson, Mother Marianne continued her work faithfully. Her sisters have attracted vocations among the Hawaiian people and still work on Molokai.

Mother Marianne died on August 9, 1918 and was beatified in 2005 and canonized seven years later.


The government authorities were reluctant to allow Mother Marianne to be a mother on Molokai. Thirty years of dedication proved their fears unfounded. God grants gifts regardless of human short-sightedness and allows those gifts to flower for the sake of the kingdom.


Soon after Mother Marianne died, Mrs. John F. Bowler wrote in the Honolulu Advertiser, "Seldom has the opportunity come to a woman to devote every hour of 30 years to the mothering of people isolated by law from the rest of the world. She risked her own life in all that time, faced everything with unflinching courage and smiled sweetly through it all."

Saint of the Day
Lives, Lessons and Feast
By Leonard Foley, O.F.M.; revised by Pat McCloskey, O.F.M.

Lord, help me to be fully alive to your Holy presence.
Enfold me in your love.
Let my heart become one with yours.


Lord, may I never take the gift
of freedom for granted. You gave
me the great blessing of freedom of
spirit. Fill my spirit with Your peace and
Your joy.


In God's loving presence I unwind the past day, starting from now and looking back, moment by moment.
I gather in all the goodness and light, in gratitude.
I attend to the shadows and what they say to me, seeking healing, courage, forgiveness

 The Word of God

Reading 1 Heb 8:6-13

Brothers and sisters:
Now our high priest has obtained so much more excellent a ministry
as he is mediator of a better covenant,
enacted on better promises.

For if that first covenant had been faultless,
no place would have been sought for a second one.
But he finds fault with them and says:
Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord,
when I will conclude a new covenant with the house of
Israel and the house of Judah.
It will not be like the covenant I made with their fathers
the day I took them by the hand to lead
them forth from the land of Egypt;
for they did not stand by my covenant
and I ignored them, says the Lord.
But this is the covenant I will establish with the house of Israel
after those days, says the Lord:
I will put my laws in their minds
and I will write them upon their hearts.
I will be their God,
and they shall be my people.
And they shall not teach, each one his fellow citizen and kin, saying,
"Know the Lord,"
for all shall know me, from least to greatest.
For I will forgive their evildoing
and remember their sins no more.

When he speaks of a "new" covenant,
he declares the first one obsolete.
And what has become obsolete
and has grown old is close to disappearing.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 85:8 and 10, 11-12, 13-14

R. (11a) Kindness and truth shall meet.
Show us, O LORD, your mercy,
and grant us your salvation.
Near indeed is his salvation to those who fear him,
glory dwelling in our land.
R. Kindness and truth shall meet.
Kindness and truth shall meet;
justice and peace shall kiss.
Truth shall spring out of the earth,
and justice shall look down from heaven.
R. Kindness and truth shall meet.
The LORD himself will give his benefits;
our land shall yield its increase.
Justice shall walk before him,
and salvation, along the way of his steps.
R. Kindness and truth shall meet.


R. Alleluia, alleluia.
God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ,
and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mk 3:13-19

Jesus went up the mountain and summoned those whom he wanted
and they came to him.
He appointed Twelve, whom he also named Apostles,
that they might be with him
and he might send them forth to preach
and to have authority to drive out demons:
He appointed the Twelve:
Simon, whom he named Peter;
James, son of Zebedee,
and John the brother of James, whom he named Boanerges,
that is, sons of thunder;
Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew,
Matthew, Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus;
Thaddeus, Simon the Cananean,
and Judas Iscariot who betrayed him.

Begin to talk to Jesus about the piece of scripture you have just read. What part of it strikes a chord in you? Perhaps the words of a friend - or some story you have heard recently - will slowly rise to the surface of your consciousness. If so, does the story throw light on what the scripture passage may be trying to say to you?


Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end.

Catholic Meditations

Meditation: Mark 3:13-19

View NAB Reading at

Saint Vincent, Deacon and Martyr

Jesus went up the mountain and summoned those whom he wanted, and they came to him. (Mark 3:13)

"Who? Me? I can't do that!" How many times have you heard comments like this, or even made them yourself when you were called upon to take up an important but daunting task? Don't you think that the twelve men Jesus called to be his apostles had some of those same feelings? It was still early in his ministry, and they knew he was special. But they still had no idea just how important he was.

This Gospel reading tells us about three important things that happened. First, Jesus decided who he wanted for his ministry. He had many followers, some of whom were probably more qualified than these twelve. But he chose these men anyway. Next, Jesus summoned them. They didn't volunteer; they didn't run for election or ask for special positions. Jesus chose them. And lastly, they responded. They must have felt honored being selected, but at the same time must have wondered, "What am I getting myself into?" They had seen Jesus heal the sick and cast out demons, but none of them had done these things themselves. And still, this is what Jesus called them to do. He knew that, left to themselves, they were incapable of fulfilling this call, so he gave them his authority.

We can be encouraged by the legacy of these apostles—and all those who came after them. Like them, many of us wonder why God calls us to serve him in a particular way. And like them, we should all remember that we are a "chosen race ... a people of his own" (1 Peter 2:9). He has summoned us to the mountain. Now it is up to us to respond.

Believe that God has planted seeds of greatness in you. He has summoned you. Now it's up to you to respond. Know that he will equip you with everything you need. Step out in faith as the Twelve did. You are capable of serving Jesus in ways that you have not imagined because he will empower you. Remember, the Lord doesn't call those who are equipped. He equips those who are called.

"Lord, give me the courage to say yes when you call and to believe that you will provide the wisdom, strength and ability to do your will."


Hebrews 8:6-13
Psalm 85:8, 10-14

The Holy Scriptures today are powerful, aren't they always?  Or what do we make them out to be?  In his book, "Confessions of a Mega Church Pastor", Allen Hunt says that since protestants came to be there now are over 33,000 "made up" beliefs about the bible.  Last I heard the number was over 42,000 splits of Christianity, which is not the case in the Holy Catholic Church, the original Christian.  And so the question remains, what do we make out the scriptures to be today? 
Well, truth be told, it must be told and it is told, and it is inscribed in the hearts of the stones of our hearts, no more the stones of Moses, God changed His mind since the people didn't listen that way or keep to that covenant, and that Ark of the Covenant was lost (obsolete), but now, a new one, and the new Ark is our Mother Mary and the new Covenant is Jesus.  Even Adam the first priest was no more, for the new High priest forever is  now and forever Jesus.
So what do you make today's Scriptures to be?  It must be said that the Covenant in the Psalms is truth, and it says "kindness and truth shall meet".  It is true for everybody that will take to heart the truth.  The spirit of charity is the spirit of giving.  And so in order to meet the truth we have to give.  Today, Jesus, the Truth, asked some to meet Him.  Not all, just some, 12 to be exact, and they are the chosen ones by God on what would become the fulfillment of God on earth to instill in our stoney hearts, the law of Jesus.  And the truth is, the truth has reached your eyes as of this moment, now, will it entice your heart?  Because when the Apostles came to Jesus, the truth, they were giving of their lives, all gave all, except one that wanted things his way and not God's way. 
And still, the will of our Father inscribes in our hearts.  Good Catholics may not know bible versus by memory, or the commandments word for word, but we know them by heart.  Yesterday, me and my wife met with another couple trying to teach us all the ins and outs of NFP (Natural Family Planning) because the Holy Church teaches us not to use contraception.  As we sat in the meeting and they were asking about one phase of a woman's cycle, and introduced rules with terminology that confused me, I told them I was confused.  And when they explained it a couple times I said "oh, I know exactly what this means, I've known it all along, I just don't know all the terminology" .  The same is with our faith.  It is inscribed in our hearts. 
The full Psalm today said "Kindness and truth shall meet;  justice and peace shall kiss.  Truth shall spring out of the earth,
and justice shall look down from heaven."
That means God and Jesus are one, and the Truth shall and did come/spring out of the earth, through Mary, and God.  The justice is looking down on us, meaning showering on the people chosen by God.  So those suffering an injustice, like Jesus did, should take heart.  Justice knows best.  Justice will be done, God's will shall be done.  All this is wonderful, but it doesn't matter if you make scripture out to be anything further than the truth already in front of us.  Our hearts of stone are inscribed with the Law of the Lord and it is a Law of Love because it is from God. 
Take heart.  Take care.  Give to God what He is asking.  Money?  Yep, tithing and to the poor.  Time?  Yep, your time in prayer and sacrifice for His will, the more, the better.  Talent?  Yep, everyone is talented.  What we use them for makes all the difference, in the Kingdom of God.  Give to God what He is asking.  Your heart?  Yep, Jesus gave His until the last drop of blood, mercy, and Love...